American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation Book Review

Whether in life, in business, or in sports, a team is only as good as its leader and visa versa. But what happens when thet person in charge is not equipped or capable of doing the job?

David Rothkopf‘s new book, American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation, was published earlier this month. In short, the author describes how members of the administration of the former guy did their best to keep the country running while tamping down on the chaos.

Some of these names on the list are ones that have become well-known over the past few years: Alexander Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill, etc. Rothkopf goes into detail in regard to the battle between those who were doing their jobs and others who were looking out to use power for power’s sake.

This book is fantastic. It gave me hope that there are still good people in our government. They understand how important it is to protect and fight for our democracy. They also had first-hand knowledge of how easily it can be distorted to fit someones less than moral agenda.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation is available wherever books are sold.

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Republican Fuckery Part V: McConnell & Thomas Deligitimize Their Marriages While McCarthy Denies Omar Committee Spot

The true sign of any living democracy is the ability to work with someone across the political aisle, regardless of the number of topics that you disagree with them on.

Last week, Mitch McConnell voted against the Respect for Marriage Act. In short, this legislation protects both interracial and same-sex marriage at the federal level. Not surprisingly, only a handful of Republicans voted with their Democrat colleagues in voting for the law.

I don’t get it. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who is AAPI. Back in July, when Roe was overturned, Clarence Thomas (who is married to a White woman, Ginni Thomas) made a similar statement. Basically, they are stating that they are ok with making their own marriages illegal. I used to think that they are/were delusional. Now they appear to be a bunch of fools.

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Meanwhile, Kevin McCarthy has already stated that if he is elected Speaker of the House, Ilhan Omar will be removed from her committee assignments. His reasoning as is follows:

“Congresswoman Omar, her antisemitic comments that have gone forward, we’re not going to allow her to be on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy told host Maria Bartiromo, referring to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

While her antisemitic utterances cannot and should not be ignored, this is rich coming from McCarthy. One of his party members, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has not been shy about her own anti-Jewish views. Moreover, his attempts to make an example of her were nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The only way to move forward and heal from the last few years is to come together and work with one another. But that requires both sides to hold out their hand in a proverbial acceptance of one’s differences. That can only happen if the Republicans as a party, are willing to come to the table. As it appears now, that is not happening anytime soon.

What was the Purpose of the Mike Pence Interview on Meet the Press?

The expectation of the press (and the news in general) is that the information provided is not one-sided. However, given the state of American politics, we have to be one-sided. We have to remember that democracy is a choice and unless we keep fighting for it, it will die.

Last Sunday, former Vice President Mike Pence was interviewed on Meet the Press. From the outside, the purpose of the interview was to talk about his new book (which will be the first and only mention on this blog) and to take a deeper dive into his perspective on the last few years.

While I understand that concept logically, I cannot understand why a supposedly “moderate” program would give this man the spotlight. Despite the threat to his life on January 6th and the obvious thread that our nation is hanging by, he continues to drink the Republican cool-aid.

Two weeks ago, the thread was made just a little stronger by the midterm results. That does not mean that we are out of the woods. Far from it. Until we excise this right-wing, fascist, and archaic ideal from our collective system, we will never be free from it.

You Know Who is Running for President (Again)

Most of us, at some point, know when we to quit. As much as we would like to achieve a certain thing, we have to admit that it is time to move on.

Last night, you know who announced that he is running for President in 2024.

As usual, this has more to do with his ego than what the country needs. If he bothered to pay attention to the recent midterm results, he would have seen the obvious. Most Americans don’t want crazy (for lack of a better term) when it comes to the political class. We want leaders who understand that it is their job is to serve us, not the other way around.

I have to wonder if this is just another ploy to avoid his various legal troubles?

He would have also seen that he is no longer the Republican diety that he thinks he is.

Since Ron DeSantis won his re-election campaign (which is another topic for another time), there have been signs that he is the favored candidate for 2024.

Only time will tell who the eventual nominee is. But I do know one thing: if we are to keep this democracy going, you know who must be kept as far away from it as humanly possible.

(Image courtesy of Facebook)

Exile Podcast Review

It is easy to assume that the world is saved by Generals and Presidents. While it is true that they have a hand in restoring normalcy, we should never forget that one ordinary person can make a difference.

The new podcast, Exile, started airing earlier this month. it is sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute and hosted by Mandy Patinkin. Each episode tells the story of a person of German Jewish descent who fought against fascism during World War II. Using archived letters, stories, and first-hand accounts, each subject is given their due as a hero or heroine in their own right.

As I listened to the episodes that have been released, I can’t help but think that history is one more repeating itself. Around the world, democracy is slowly being replaced by other forms of government that do not respect the rights of the average citizen. The lessons are there, if we are willing to stop and listen.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of Exile are released every Tuesday.

Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra Podcast Review

January 6th, 2021 was an extraordinary day in American history. It is one of those moments that I don’t think anyone over a certain age will ever forget. Up until recently, it appeared to be the only event of this nature in recent memory.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow tells us otherwise. Her new limited podcast, Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra tells the story of a failed coup led by prominent Americans to overthrow the US government in the 1940s. Among them are members of Congress and notorious antisemite Father Charles Coughlin.

Though only two episodes have aired, the parallels between then and now are hard to ignore. I got chills listening to it. There are too many similarities to January 6th. Though the names have obviously changed, the basics remain the same.

For that reason alone, this should be required listening for every American and a reminder of how delicate our democracy is.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra are released every Monday.

Alex Jones Got What Was Coming to Him

Freedom of speech is important in any living democracy. But even that has its limits.

On Wednesday, a Connecticut jury decided that Alex Jones should pay nearly $1 Billion dollars to eight families of Sandy Hook victims and one first responder.

Jones got what was coming to him. What these people deserve (and absolutely need) is our empathy and support. Telling lies about the loss of their loved ones to sell whatever he was selling is cruel and inhuman.

Of course, he will refute the verdict and continue to spread his version of the truth.

It goes without saying that the funds cannot bring the dead or undo the ten years of grief that those left behind live with on a daily basis. But it can send a message that there are consequences for one’s actions.

Only time will tell if Alex Jones and his ilk will stay with us or fade into memory. I would love to be optimistic, but considering our current political climate, I cannot be anything but pessimistic.

I Attended the Women’s March on Saturday

The ability to publicly demonstrate and tell our elected leaders what is on our minds is baked into the very concept of democracy.

Last Saturday was the Women’s March in New York City. Held at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, attendees were there to make sure that our voices were heard.

Though the main topic was abortion, it was about the fact that in the United States, women and girls are still second-class citizens.

Before the speakers began, there was a recognition of Mahsa Amini and the figurehead that she has become. Not just in Iran, but all over the world.

The fact is that this has been an ongoing struggle for a very long time. While I was there, I could feel my foremothers standing behind me. Those of us who are alive today both stand on their giant shoulders and walk on the path they started.

Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America Book Review

Superheros are part and parcel of our culture. When the shit hits the fan, we know that we can rely on them to save the day. While we look up to these characters, we have to remember that they are fiction.

Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America, by Dahlia Lithwick, was published last month. The book starts with the 2016 Presidential election and the victory of he who shall not be named. Across the country and independent of one another, individual female lawyers saw the writing on the wall and prepared themselves for a fight. Among them are Stacey Abrams, Sally Yates, and Becca Heller.

Her message is simple and crystal clear. While we look to legal superheroes to save us, the truth is that it is up to us to keep this nation and this democracy alive.

The United States was founded not by generals or kings. It was started by ordinary people who understood how important freedom was. It is that spirit we need today if we are to continue what the founders started nearly 300 years ago.

I really enjoyed this book. It should inspire all of us to take action. If we don’t, then there may be nothing left of the republic that we know and love.

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The Election in Italy is a Warning That Cannot be Ignored

If Americans have learned one thing over the past few years, it is that democracy is not guaranteed. It must be fought for and earned.

Last week, a new Italian Prime Minister was elected. Her name is Giorgia Meloni. Though she has just been chosen to lead the country, there are already comparisons to Benito Mussolini. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the twentieth century understands that this is not a good sign of things to come.

Though there is the argument that she is a woman, that does not preclude where she lands politically. Fascism is dangerous, regardless of the sex and gender of elected officials and those who work for them.

Obviously, as an American citizen, I have no say in this decision. But what we can all do is be vigilant and speak up. If we don’t, then who knows how long we have left to live in a country that is truly democratic?

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